Kadimastem and The Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research (AFDR) Selected to Receive a Bi-National Grant from the Australian Government and the Israel Innovation Authority to Explore a Combined Diabetes Solution
The project budget is three million NIS, of which approximately one million NIS has been approved for the first year of activity
NESS ZIONA, Israel, July 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announced today the approval of the Australian Government and the Israel Innovation Authority, to receive a joint research grant as part of a bi-national program to examine and develop the company's technology for the treatment of diabetes, together with a dedicated medical device developed by the Australian Foundation for Diabetes Research (AFDR).
The project budget for Kadimastem is about three million NIS, of which Kadimastem has been awarded approximately one million NIS for the first year. The participation of the innovation authority will be at the rate of 50% of the Kadimastem budget. The duration of the program is three years.
In parallel with the development of cell-based therapy for the treatment of ALS, with which Kadimastem is currently running its clinical trial on humans, it is also developing an innovative cell-based therapy for diabetes, by producing islet-of-Langerhans-like cells capable of producing and releasing insulin in response to blood sugar levels. AFDR is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting treatment for diabetes in Australia. Its researchers have developed a unique encapsulation device that enables the implantation of insulin-producing cells and provides protection against the immune system.
The collaboration with AFDR is consistent with the company's strategy of evaluating and promoting collaborations in the encapsulation field, to select a partner with technological capabilities suitable for application in the company's cell-based product for diabetes. Through this bi-national collaboration, Kadimastem will combine AFDR's encapsulation solution and the insulin-secreting cells, with the purpose of bringing this novel combination to a clinical stage.
Yossi Ben-Yossef, CEO of Kadimastem, noted: "This is a vote of confidence in the company and in its technological capabilities. We believe that this strategic move will enable Kadimastem to accelerate the development process and will facilitate reaching clinical trials quickly. The combination of technologies is a source of interest for future cooperation with large pharmaceutical companies."
Prof. Michel Revel, Kadimastem's Chief Scientists, noted: "The research grant the company has been awarded attests to the recognition of its ability to provide a practical cell therapy solution for patients with diabetes that will relieve them of the need for frequent injections of insulin. The company produces pancreatic islet-like cells that secrete insulin and other hormones that regulate blood sugar. The cells will be combined into a device developed in Australia that protects the cells from the immune system. This combination will allow Kadimastem to progress faster towards clinical trials for diabetes."
Kadimastem (http://www.kadimastem.com) is a biotechnology company that develops industrial regenerative medicine therapies based on differentiated cells derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) to treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as ALS, as well as diabetes. The company was founded in August 2009 by Professor Michel Revel and Yossi Ben Yosef, and is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: KDST). The company's chairman is Dr. Eli Opper, formerly the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Labor and Trade. The company's investors, in addition to the founders, include Altshuler Shaham Investment House, foreign investors (Julien Ruggieri and Avi Meizler), and additional institutional investors.
Kadimastem was founded based on patent protected technology that was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Based on the company's unique platform, Kadimastem is developing two types of medical applications: A. Regenerative medicine, which repairs and replaces organs and tissue by using functioning cells differentiated from stem cells. The company focuses on transplanting healthy brain cells to support the survivability of nerve cells as cell therapy for ALS, and transplanting insulin-secreting pancreatic cells for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes; B. Drug screening platforms, which use functional human cells and tissues to discover new medicinal drugs. The company has two collaboration agreements with leading global pharmaceutical companies.
Kadimastem has an extensive scientific advisory board, featuring prominent scientists and pioneers: in the embryonic stem cells field, Professor Benjamin Reubinoff, Director of the Hadassah Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center and Senior Physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hadassah University Medical Center; Professor Joseph Itskovich, world renowned expert and pioneer in pluripotent stem cell research and former head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at RAMBAM Medical Center; in the neurodegenerative disease field, Professor Tamir Ben-Hur, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Medical Center; and in the diabetes field, Professor Shimon Efrat, professor of Human Molecular Genetics and Juvenile Diabetes at Tel Aviv University and a world renowned expert in cell replacement therapy for diabetes and Professor Eddy Karnieli, former Director of the Institute for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the RAMBAM Medical Center, and a world renowned expert in these fields.
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